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Holiday Cooking

Nicola Paris
Galley, Steve Irwin

Nicola Paris24th December, 2009

When you are out of inspiration for dinner, just make breakfast instead. That’s right: dinner was an all day breakfast extravaganza of fried tomatoes, toast, fake bacon, soy sausages, hash browns, veggie fry up, and pancakes for dessert. Why? That’s just how we roll.

25th December - Christmas day

We finally persuaded Chief Cook Laura into having a morning off so I did Christmas breakfast and Vera joined me for lunch.  Thanks to the feisty weather, a batch of pancake mixture and corn fritter mixture ended up all over the floor… hmmm… good start. Anyway, after putting on some vintage beastie boys too loud, I made a rapid recovery and we had hash browns, sweet pancakes, blueberry and banana smoothies, and all the other regular breakfast stuff.  Lunch was pumpkin soup, potato wedges, leftover pasta and fresh made foccacia - to leave a bit of space for the epic Christmas feast.

I tried to call my family earlier in the day, in a one off and extravagant use of the sat phone, and couldn’t get through - they called back at 6pm, just as we were in the last stages of preparation for an epic Christmas feast; so all I had time for was hi and bye… “Merry Christmas my lovely family, with special love for wonderful Nana, and thanks for putting up with me being away for another year.”

The Christmas menu included fake meat ‘turkey’ which is surprisingly delicious, roasted vegetables, crispy potatoes,  Laura’s famous stuffing & gravy, cranberry and mint sauce; Vera made traditional Hungarian sweet bread, I made Swedish delicotta balls (or my dodgy australianized version of) and a fruit cake. And nothing landed on the floor. A true miracle of Christmas in 50 knot winds.

The secret Santa (otherwise known as the pirate gift exchange program) was amazing… I am constantly amazed at the talent and creativity on board this ship… engine room rags into presents; discarded wire into sculpture, wood scraps into pieces of art…. Julie gave me two beautiful pillows she hand sewed out of clothing scraps from the cold weather store…with the word ‘warrior’ embroidered on one: they are the perfect size to help wedge me into my bunk in big weather.  I gave Brent a decorated, hand made gift voucher booklet: gifts to be redeemed included a batch of cookies of his choice, 5 minutes paid phone time on the sat phone, protection from giant killer squid, a free voucher for me to do one of his gross jobs (like cleaning the heads), amongst other things. Every crew member also received a care package of treats from the Kerns, local supporters and the galley received some extra dollars to spend on treats for everyone: crisps, chocolate soy milk, and candy canes.

After initial Grinch-y tendencies the Captain acquiesced and did a decent job of the role of Santa; and we had some very cheesy Christmas decorations, including a tree, and appropriately awful Christmas carols. Just like home. Except the swaying was because of the bad weather.

26th December - Boxing day

Lots of leftovers from Christmas.

I am tucked away from the galley, tending to a bit of a cold, and doing some prep work on inventory and planning for provisions and donations of food in Hobart.  We will be arriving hopefully on the 29th and need to take on fresh produce to see us through our potentially much longer second leg of the campaign, as well as provide food support to the Ady Gil.  Food donations in Hobart are gratefully accepted and you can contact us for details on requirements at

Although the crew is looking forward to a day or two on dry land, and a bit of sun, we are very keen to get back out there and find the fleet and get on with the job.

Our bosun Dan was the galley guest of the day and made dinner; a traditional Egyptian peasant dish, of lentils and crispy fried onions, ‘Kosherill’. It was excellent.



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